The Midwest Institute of Opera (MIO) presents its 2016 season, a season of comedy and tragedy, from July 25 through July 31.

This year’s season will feature Verdi’s Falstaff, Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites, and Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel. All performances take place in the Illinois State University Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall.

Tickets for performances are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and children under 10 years of age, and can be purchased at the door prior to performances (cash and check only.)

2016 Midwest Institute of Opera season

2016 Midwest Institute of Opera season

The schedule for the week is as follows:

Verdi’s Falstaff (sung in Italian with English supertitles)
Friday, July 29, at 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, July 31, at 2:30 p.m.

Poulenc’s Dialogues of the Carmelites (sung in English)
Thursday, July 28, at 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, July 30, at 7:30 p.m.

Humperdinck’s Hansel and Gretel (sung in English)
Monday, July 25, at 11 a.m. (free admission to registered groups)*
Wednesday, July 27, at 7:30 p.m. (children admitted free with adult ticket purchase)

A comic opera in three acts, Falstaff is Verdi’s final opera and his only other comedy since Un Giorno di Regno. The libretto by Arrigo Boito is adapted from Shakespeare’s The Merry Wives of Windsor and follows the antics of Sir John Falstaff, who after finding himself short on money tries to court two wealthy married women. Learning of Falstaff’s plan and uninterested in his advances, the two women resolve to teach Falstaff a lesson. This show is appropriate for all ages.

Music and libretto by Francis Poulenc, Dialogues of the Carmelites is based on the play of the same name written by Georges Bernanos. Based on a true historical event, the opera follows the story of Blanche de la Force, a timid noblewoman who has sought refuge from her uncontrollable and innate fears in the Carmelite convent at Compiègne. Dialogues of the Carmelites is a tragic opera about fear, faith, and courage during the French Revolution and closing days of the Reign of Terror. The Dialogues of the Carmelites  performance features Metropolitan Opera’s Heidi Skok, mezzo-soprano, as Madame de Croissy.

Composed by Engelbert Humperdinck with the libretto written by his sister, Adelheid Wette, Hansel and Gretel is based on the Grimm fairy tale. The traditional story set to the beautiful melodies of Humperdinck’s score is appropriate for all ages. Tinkerbell, the Wicked Witch of the West, and Glinda the Good Witch will all make appearances in this amazing opera.

*Hansel and Gretel is presented by Mioperatunities, a division of MIO offering free opera performances to diverse audiences. Groups wishing to register for the July 25 matinée performance of Hansel and Gretel should email for additional information.

Founded in 2010, the Midwest Institute of Opera features a cast of professional young emerging artists from around the country. School of Music Professor John Koch and Tracy Koch of Bloomington are co-artistic directors of MIO, and the program is run under the auspices of the Illinois State University College of Fine Arts and School of Music.

Sponsors for the Midwest Institute of Opera include the Patricia Sheridan Foundation, the Town of Normal Harmon Arts Grant Program, the Mirza Arts Foundation, the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, and Kanoski-Bresney and Associates.

For more information, contact John Koch at or (309) 438-2472.